Most engineers now select even the largest motors online, rather than calling upon the assistance of their supplier or wading through hard copy documentation. So says Jerry Hodek, who is both Technical & Operations Director of Regal Beloit EU and Managing Director of sister company Rotor (UK) Limited. He launched his online motor selector service (available at www.regalbeloit.eu, www.regalbeloit.co.uk and www.rotor.co.uk) over a year ago and explains that the vast majority of customers now use it, with only a few non-adopters.
Essential to the success of the project has been the user-friendliness of the selector. Jerry says: “We replicate the way users choose motors, taking them through a series of simple, logical steps.”
The first step is to use a drop-down menu to select the type of motor (low voltage, high voltage, single phase, etc.). Then you specify the required power and pole count, check against an on-screen look-up table and select a motor range (cast iron, aluminium, drip proof, etc.). One more mouse click downloads the appropriate data sheet, while engineering drawings can be downloaded using a virtually identical process.
Jerry says: “We designed the system from the customers’ perspective, rather than basing it on the procedure for building a motor in the factory. Its intuitive operation is probably the reason for its rapid adoption,” ruefully adding that there will probably always be a few customers wanting to do things the old-fashioned way.
He speculates that most engineers selecting motors today are young enough to have grown up with computers and use them naturally. He says: “They still like to have catalogues on their shelves as a first point of reference, but switch to the computer for detailed selection.”
The online selector is backed by a database of over 7000 documents, with more being added constantly. Jerry is working on plans for a possible global roll-out of the selector, so that it embraces all of the brands and ranges in the Regal family. Please visit www.regalbeloit.eu, www.regalbeloit.co.uk or www.rotor.co.uk to access the service.